FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Dynamic Plaques - FVT Plaques
FVT Plaques is introducing new dynamic plaques to recognize police and sheriff's...

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Reviews : Police Product Test

Police Product Test: 5.11 Tactical ATAC Lights

5.11 Tactical's ATAC line of lights provides high-quality, affordable illumination.

June 21, 2012  |  by Scott Smith - Also by this author

Photo: Scott Smith
Photo: Scott Smith

5.11 Tactical's ATAC line of lights provides high-quality, affordable illumination. It includes the PLx pen light, powered by two AAA cell batteries, and the L2, powered by two CR123A batteries.

One of the first things I noticed about both lights was the quality of the fit and finish. Black anodizing over the aircraft-grade aluminum is smooth and flawless, and the end caps screw off and on smoothly thanks to well-executed threads. Also, the knurling on the end caps (the equivalent of checkering on handguns) is virtually perfect.

A feature of the L2 I especially like is its "lockout" cap. You rotate it a quarter-turn and the light cannot be accidentally turned on. This will increase the life of your batteries.

Speaking of switches, both the PLx and L2 use push-button switches with an audible and tactile click. I like this "positive on" in a light, especially when transitioning to constant-on mode. The L2 switch offers four settings: constant on, intermittent, reduced output, and strobe. Illumination is reduced with a second push of the switch, and it strobes with three consecutive pushes. I found this to be one of the easiest to use multi-function switches I have encountered.

To test them out I used 5.11's ATAC lights locally to spot deer, which often venture into the yard where I live in the suburbs. The 222-lumen output of the L2 allowed me to see and tell the difference between the antlers on a 2-year-old buck and the branches he was standing against at 75 yards in the woods. The L2 will give you more than enough light to make out dangerous items in a suspect’s hands or to illuminate a license plate at distances we contact folks. The 222 lumens is also more than sufficient to make a detainee blink and become momentarily disoriented.

As for the PLx, it won't double as a light saber, but it will function as a working light to clear a room or search under a car seat for contraband or your lost pen. Because its AAA batteries are much cheaper than CR123As, a small pen light such as the PLx is one I would consider a go-to light for many daily use actions. Its output is enough to stand in as a tactical light for traffic stops or to back up a higher output light such as the L2.

I found both of these ATAC lights carried well in my 5.11 Tactical pants, thanks to their removable clips. The clips secure the lights well even when climbing up and down hills. The L2 also ships with a lanyard to facilitate easy manipulation of other gear when needed.

If you are in the market for a light, the ATAC line from 5.11 is worth considering.

5.11 Tactical ATAC Lights Specs:

PLx:

Construction: Aerospace-grade aluminum

Batteries: 2 AAA Duracell batteries included

Switches: Momentary-on

Modes: High

LED: Cree XP-C

Lumens: 69

Runtime: 3 hours

Length: 5 inches

Max. Diameter: 0.7 inches

Weight (with batteries): 2.2 ounces

Features: Regulated circuit for maximum output, gold-plated contacts, water resistant, stamped metal pocket clip

Price: $29.99

L2:

Construction: Aerospace-grade aluminum

Batteries: 2 CR123A Duracell included

Switches: Intelligent switch with high/low/strobe; momentary-on switch; rotary dial lock-out switch

Modes: High/low/strobe

LED: Cree XP-G

Lumens: High 22, low 15, strobe 222

Runtime: High 4 hours, low 15 hours, strobe 7+ hours

Length: 5.3 inches

Max. Diameter: 1.1 inches

Weight (with batteries):  3.8 ounces

Features: Regulated circuit for maximum output, gold-plated contacts, water resistant, stamped metal pocket clip, black TPR soft touch anti-roll ring, breakaway lanyard included

Price: $84.99

Scott Smith is a former federal police officer for the Department of Veteran's Affairs who currently serves as a reserve officer.

Request more info about this product / service / company


Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine